Malgas is a settlement on the right (southwest) bank of the Breede River in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. It is situated 25 kilometres north-west of the Breede River mouth at Witsand, and 30 kilometres south-east of Swellendam. "Malgas" is the Afrikaans for gannet. The word "malgas" is probably an adaptation of the Portuguese mangas de velludo, "velvet sleeves", referring to the Cape gannet (Morus capensis) with its black-tipped wings.[2] According to the 2011 census, Malgas has a population of 44 people in 20 households. [1] It is well known for the "pont", a man-hauled pontoon cable ferry across the Breede River, which is the last of its type in South Africa.[3] The man hauled ferry is currently being replaced by a motor driven ferry, which is sad, but the volume of traffic is fairly substantial so the replacement is probably due. The new ferry is a huge yellow steel pontoon with a massive diesel engine.

The Malgas cable ferry on the Breede River
The Malgas cable ferry on the Breede River
Malgas is located in Western Cape
Malgas is located in South Africa
Coordinates: 34°18′00″S 20°34′59″E / 34.3°S 20.583°E / -34.3; 20.583Coordinates: 34°18′00″S 20°34′59″E / 34.3°S 20.583°E / -34.3; 20.583
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
 • Total0.77 km2 (0.30 sq mi)
 • Total44
 • Density57/km2 (150/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African11.4%
 • Coloured50.0%
 • White38.6%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans74.4%
 • English18.6%
 • S. Ndebele2.3%
 • Xhosa2.3%
 • Other2.3%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)


  1. ^ a b c d e "Main Place Malgas". Census 2011.
  2. ^ Raper, P. E. (1987). Dictionary of South African Place Names. Lowry Publishers. pp. 292–293. ISBN 0947042067.
  3. ^ Brooke, Simon (18 April 2013). "However you spell it, Malgas is an oasis". Business Day. Times Media (Pty) Ltd. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 17 September 2018.